Like all relationships, customer relationships rely on great communication. When communication is unclear, slow or absent it can lead to frustration and a breakdown of trust. So, providing customers with a fast, responsive and effective communication platform has to be a priority.
This is what inspired airline KLM to contact cloud technology partner Gen25, creator of Social25, seven years ago. In an industry where urgency of response is particularly important, KLM wanted to be able to provide key information about flights where they knew their customers would see them. So they asked for an integration between their Salesforce CRM and Facebook Messenger to send boarding passes and exchange information with their customers. It was the first integration of its kind.
Not long after, a global sports brand wanted to do the same thing. With two major organisations requesting this functionality, the development of Social25 started.
Fast forward to today and Social25 plays a big part in a fast-growing direct messaging market. The application connects multiple social messaging platforms within Salesforce, where messages can be handled in the CRM environment.
Recognising the need to connect to the world’s most popular messaging app, Social25 partnered with tyntec to give businesses completely secure and GDPR-compliant access to WhatsApp. Social25 also connects to WeChat, Facebook Messenger, Telegram and other messaging services (more than any other Salesforce integration), and in the month of October it processed over 1 million messages.
The landmark comes as many businesses now prioritise social messaging channels as their main route to contact. Why? Because messaging apps are where customers spend their time.
Seamlessly connecting with daily life
By using direct messaging, businesses connect to customers in a space where communications seamlessly integrate with daily life. Customers can message their friends in one moment, ask a quick question about their order in the next, then message their Mum about dinner, all in the same messaging environment.
For the customer, it’s far more convenient than making a phone call or sending an email, where they may get stuck in a queue, on hold or have to wait for a response. There’s no fear of losing the connection or long delays, they can just carry on with their day while they await a response. So, it’s a far less stressful customer experience.
Using tyntec’s Whatsapp API solution, communications are also secure. Customers can see that they are dealing with a verified business, and messaging is handled in a GDPR-compliant environment, helping to drive customer confidence and build that all important trust.
More efficient communications
Meanwhile for businesses there are great efficiencies to be made.
Salesforce is already one of the world’s largest and most efficient customer service tools, with functionality such as quick text to provide fast pre-prepared responses, and omni-channel routing to ensure conversations go to the most appropriate available customer service representative. Social25 connects to businesses’ existing Salesforce CRM platform, leveraging this functionality while bringing together customer communications via various direct messaging channels in a single view.
On one screen service agents can see all of the customer’s details and their conversation history across phone, email and social messaging platforms. No more crossed wires when multiple agents are involved, or switching between screens to access information.
An agent can also chat with, for example, up to seven customers simultaneously. Compare that to just one at a time with call handling over the phone and you get an idea of how much more efficient it can be.
But if that’s not efficient enough for you, how about incorporating bots? Social25 is ‘bot-agnostic’, integrating with most ChatBot software to triage customer interactions and send them to an agent only when necessary. Sentiment analysis can be integrated, so that if a customer is getting aggravated, for example, they can be directed to an agent quickly. Case routing and language recognition creates an even more finely-tuned experience so that if a customer is typing in Japanese, for example, they can be routed to a Japanese-speaking agent.
A large clothing retailer contracted Social25 to improve their quality of customer service particularly during times of high traffic, such as Black Friday. In collaboration with Digital Genius, Social25 developed and trained a bot to answer standard questions about delivery, returns and refunds. As a result, the brand found that 18% of all cases were handled by bots, creating an astounding cost saving of 70% on these cases.
A personal experience
Of course, bots can’t handle all enquiries, but with direct messaging there are benefits for agent involvement too. When it’s their turn to interact, messaging directly with customers in the platforms where they are most comfortable improves the conversation. The less formal nature of a messaging service means that discussions can be more personal, with both the agent and customer able to send images to improve understanding, or gifs to lighten the mood.
For the customer, this informal approach combined with the transparency of being able to see their conversation history, as well as the agent planning their response, helps them to feel that they’re being listened to. They’re less likely to feel the frustrations they would when they wait for responses to calls and emails.
One Social25 client reported that over 80% of customers said that their questions had been answered to satisfaction via the direct messaging platform. That’s significantly higher than is expected in most communication forms.
Building customer relationships
Social25 doesn’t just make communications more efficient, it also sets the stage for improved customer relationships that can lead to future sales and advocacy. That’s how Social25 makes broader impacts beyond customer services.
Unlike any other Salesforce integration, Social25 also connects to Sales Cloud and Marketing Cloud to enable businesses to continue the conversation and build the relationship in the promotional space (with the correct controls in place, of course). Companies can send order updates and special offers to their customers in a place where they know their messages are being read – because who doesn’t read a WhatsApp message?
When it comes to future-proofing customer experience, it’s never been more important to be where your customers are. Slow-paced email and phone communications no longer cut the mustard. But direct messaging – creating more personal, responsive, efficient and connected experiences – provides a win-win for the business and the customer. With platforms such as Social25 on the rise, direct messaging looks set to become the new norm in customer communications.